2007-03-29 / Letters to the Editor

Tower's microwave level within limits

I find it hard to believe that yet another Chicken Little "the sky is falling" scenario abounds in Jamestown. I thought the RF radiation controversy was left behind with the microwave oven and cell phone user brain damage scares. Yet, Reenie Rubino's letter to the Jamestown Press on March 22 regarding RF radiation, states the entire village is at risk with installation of another cell phone antenna on top of the water tower.

Without going into a dissertation about FCC mandated power density limits of RF exposure to the general public by different types of radio transmitters, it should be known that this controversy has been going on since microwave technology was first advanced during World War II. Literally billions of people worldwide have been exposed to radiated microwaves in one form or another. Relatively minuscule numbers have been injured by exposure. In my 35 years of designing, installing and testing very high-powered military radar systems, I know of only two cases where injury occurred. One was because a 1 megawatt pulsed radar pencil beam was accidentally turned on two feet from the face of a technician. The other was an RF burn on a fingertip.

I do not advocate that RF energy is safe, however to elevate the "alarm level" because of cell phone antenna installations on top of a water tower, is both technically improbable and morally irresponsible. Worse case scenarios postulated by the FCC for cell phone transmitter antenna exposure levels do not even exceed 1 percent of the maximum decreed safe level by the FCC. Study after study by the IEEE (the U.S. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and countless organizations and agencies have established emission standards to protect the public to which all telecommunication companies comply.

A 300 to 500 watt ERP omni directional 900 or 1900 MHz cell phone signal is well dissipated to microwatts in its near field zone and even when reflected by other metal objects, falls magnitudes below the FCC microwatts (not milliwatts) per square centimeter level deemed safe by the FCC.

If Ms. Rubino is concerned about being "zapped" by RF devices, she should stay away from using her own cell phone, multi megawatt TV antennas, and the more concentrated higher RF levels by other type of emitters such as vessels transiting the shores of Jamestown who's rotating focused radar beams emit pulsed microwave energy 100,000 times higher than cell phone antennas. For the rest of us, we have other real threats to worry about and not the cry of "fire" inside a theater.

As for spending more hard earned money on redundant studies such as a proposed "electropollution" survey, I certainly don't want my portion of taxes used so flagrantly to pay another consultant, who's findings are already known. Varoujan Karent         Jamestown

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